There were 823 evacuees aboard the US military aircraft flying out of Afghanistan shown in viral photo
(Capt. Chris Herbert/US Air Force/AP)
Earlier this week, a photo of a US military aircraft packed with evacuees flying out of Afghanistan went viral. There were at least 823 evacuees on board, the crew that carried out this flight told CNN.
"We have women and children and people's lives at stake. It's not about capacity or rules and regulations. It's about the training and directives that we were able to handle to make sure we can safely and effectively get that many people out and max perform those efforts," said Lt. Col. Eric Kut, who ultimately authorized that packed flight, and spoke to CNN from Joint Base Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
The evacuees "were definitely anxious to get out of the area, and we were happy to accommodate them. And they were definitely excited once we were airborne," Technical Sgt. Justin Triola added. "Everybody was very thrilled to actually leave." Watch: